Friday, September 17, 2010

Academic Games Starts Up - 4th and 5th Graders

Dear Parents of 4th and 5th Graders,
            King School Academic Games will begin Tuesday, September 21st.  For this first session, parents are required to attend briefly to sign up your student and be sure we have your correct phone number and email address.
            Practice times have been set for Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 PM, and Fridays, also from 6:30 to 7:30 PM, and will be held in the King School Music Room.  Practices will begin for interested students in either 4th or 5th grade on Tuesday, September 21st from 6:30 to 7:30 PM in the King School Music Room. 
            King Academic Games will be coached by Vivian Lin and Mike Vanek, and is sponsored by the King School PTO.  Students who wish to compete in tournaments can participate in the Michigan League of Academic Games (MLAG) Saturday Tournaments, held once per month from September through February at various schools in southeastern Michigan.  The league requires any student who wishes to participate in the MLAG State Tournament, at Grand Rapids on March 9-11, 2011, to have participated in at least 3 Saturday Tournaments.  Tournament dates are at the bottom of this note, and more information on tournament locations will be available in a handout at our first practice meeting.

We look forward to meeting with you and your student on Tuesday the 21st.


Mike Vanek
What is Academic Games?
Academic Games (AG) is a group of games designed to test and improve a student's knowledge in several different subject areas. There are games that cover math, English, social studies, and logic. The primary purpose of AG is to make learning fun for students.  All too often it seems, students turn off to Math, English, or Social Studies because they are bored or not challenged by the material.  AG helps to solve that problem by making learning about the subjects more interesting and fun.  There is also the added motivation to do well in order to succeed in competition.
Gold ThinkerWhich games do elementary students play in AG?
The first game students learn is Equations, a mathematics game created by University of Michigan Law Professor Layman Allen in the mid 1960's.  Players use numerals and mathematical symbols on special dice to create a goal, and then try to come up with a solution before their opponents.
Similar to the popular card game, "Set", On-Sets is a game that involves Set Theory, where students must find groups of colors using set operations.
On-Words is a word game involving spelling, counting, grammar, phonetics, word roots, inflectional endings, prefixes and suffixes
Presidents is an American History game that tests students' knowledge of the American Presidents, and the events that happened during their presidencies.
In Propaganda, students learn to recognize and understand different techniques of persuasion.

 (These brief game descriptions came from the Michigan League of Academic Games website:, where more information on games and rules can be found.)

Saturday Tournaments are set for Sept. 25, Oct. 16, Nov. 20, Dec. 11, Jan. 8, and Feb. 5. The State Tournament is March 9-11, 2011.